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Alberta Semifinal tied 1-1 following Bandits 5-2 loss in Game 2

BROOKS, AB (April 20, 2024) – The Brooks Bandits suffered their first home loss of the season, falling 5-2 to the Okotoks Oilers in Game 2 of the BCHL Alberta Division Semifinal on Saturday at the Centennial Regional Arena.

The best-of-seven series is tied 1-1, with Game 3 scheduled for Tuesday in Okotoks. The Bandits went 31-0 at home in the regular season, and haven’t lost on home ice since Game 2 of the 2023 League Championship, winning 33 straight games since. It was also the Bandits first loss to Okotoks this season, going 11-0 in the regular season in the head to head series.

Oilers forward Brett Huxley opened the scoring at 5:25, scoring off from the left circle. The Oilers doubled the lead at 18:01, with forward Jackson Rowland tucking in a goal from the side of the net.

Oilers goaltender Christian Green denied Bandits forward Mirko Buttazzoni (Langley, BC) on the breakaway in the 2nd, and Okotoks tripled their lead to 3-0 at 7:55 of the 2nd period, as forward Dean Spak cleaned up a loose puck after his team hit a post. The Bandits solved Green at 16:17 on the powerplay, as forward Nathan Free (Calgary, AB) took a corner pass from Buttazzoni and sniped a top shelf shot to cut the lead to 3-1. It sparked the Bandits, who gained momentum and got to 3-2 after forward Hunter Wallace (Oak Lake, MB) tipped a Luke Marshall (Saskatoon, SK) pass at 17:58.

Despite the momentum, Oilers forward Sam Huck scored a breakaway goal at 2:53 of the 3rd to make it 4-2. Huxley added another at 10:15 to put it out of reach.

Prior to the game, Bandits forward Danylo Korzhyletskyi (Kyiv, UA) won the Nick Crosby Memorial Award, dedicated to the Bandit who best exemplifies the attributes of Determination, Teamwork, Loyalty and Passion. Nick’s parents Bob and Wendy Crosby presented the award.

Game 3 is Tuesday, April 23rd and Game 4 is Wednesday, April 5th, both in Okotoks. Game times are 7:00 pm. Game 5 is Friday, April 26th in Brooks.